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Coming up with a Thanksgiving menu can be a daunting task whether you’re serving dinner for 2 or a feast for 20. This year is likely to look different for most families with social distancing restrictions still in place for most of the country. But even if your Thanksgiving plans are much more intimate, that doesn’t mean sacrificing delicious food.

Barefoot Contessa host Ina Garten has a plethora of fantastically festive recipes that work well for holiday gatherings, especially Thanksgiving. Most recently, she shared her menu plans for 2020 with Williams Sonoma.

Fans couldn’t help but notice that the desserts had some boozy things in common.

Ina Garten shares Thanksgiving tips every year

Ina Garten
Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Barefoot Contessa fans keep a close eye on her social media accounts each November, hoping to get more ideas for appetizers, sides, desserts, and overall tips for preparing a worthy Thanksgiving feast.

In general, the Food Network legend recommends going for the “less is more” approach since there are so many items to prepare. “When I’m planning my Thanksgiving menu, I always make sure some of the sides are very simple, so the dishes don’t compete with one another,” Garten advised in a 2019 Instagram post.

She also selects items that can be prepared in the oven and on the stovetop simultaneously so everything can be served hot.

‘Barefoot Contessa’ recommends boozy desserts for Thanksgiving

It’s been a rough year for everyone and many people are turning to food and drinks as sources of comfort. As Yahoo reported, Garten is spicing up dessert time in 2020 by opting for booze-filled desserts that are big on flavor.

“I love the earthiness of old-fashioned cakes but I often wish they had more flavor,” Barefoot Contessa wrote. “Apples and raisins are great together in a cake, but I thought some bourbon would give it more depth, so I infused the raisins with bourbon before adding them to the batter. A splash of bourbon in the cream cheese frosting didn’t hurt either.”

She shared recipes for both her Applesauce Cake with Bourbon Raisins and Ultimate Pumpkin Pie with Rum Whipped Cream on Williams Sonoma’s website.

Ina Garten loves great cocktails but insists on following the recipe


‘The Barefoot Contessa’: Ina Garten Confesses This is the 1 Dish She Can Never Get Right

And what’s a Thanksgiving spread without a few libations on the side? Garten posted a video of herself mixing perfect quarantine cocktails earlier in 2020 and delighted fans by serving her portion out of an oversized martini glass.

The Barefoot Contessa follows one important rule when she’s mixing up drinks and when she’s cooking. Instead of experimenting with a dash of this and a pinch of that, Garten prides herself on always following the recipe precisely. That’s how she knows she’ll always love the finished product.  

“I’m very scientific,” the best-selling cookbook author told Parade in 2018. “I measure everything. I spent so much time perfecting the recipe, why would I want to take a chance?”

Following Garten’s recipes for Thanksgiving guarantees that your holiday meal will be a little delicious, no matter who you’re sharing it with. Just don’t forget to hit the liquor store first.